On losing a grandparent
Hello blog friends, it’s been a while.
It’s not that I haven’t had a lot to say (in fact quite the opposite), but I didn’t know where to begin. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve experienced an emotional roller coaster: spectacularly wonderful things, terribly sad things, and a few things in between.
You see, my appama (paternal grandmother) became ill at the very beginning of this year and passed away shortly thereafter. It hit me quite hard, because only a few months prior, we lost my ammama (maternal grandmother). It’s amazing how even the most rational of us can turn into emotional basket-cases at moments like this. Subconsciously, I think I tried to prepare myself for months before, knowing that they were getting older, and thinking positively about the long and fulfilling lives they’ve lived. But there are so many things that you just can’t prepare yourself for when the time comes. I was surprised by the rush of emotions that hit me, surging in from every direction. It’s funny how things you hadn’t thought of in years float to the surface. Even the feelings of loss I felt when my grandfathers passed away, 3 years ago and 15 years ago, respectively. It’s a strange feeling, realizing that you no longer have any grandparents left. One of those sum-is-greater-than-its-parts feelings. As one of my uncles pointed out, we have lost a generation. In that respect, I was overcome with the strongest sense of finality. No more chances to hear their stories, no more chances to hear their wisdom. There are bits of history, and probably a few secrets too, that have gone with them.
But we move forward. First, by remembering the good times. In addition to all of the time spent together over the years, I will be eternally grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a month with my ammama, during my travels last year in Australia, and for the numerous visits I’ve had with my appama, stateside, since my return. Second, by recognizing that those who have passed before us live on within the rest of us. Indeed, I find myself seeing pieces of my grandparents in my cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, and sister. And third, by the comfort of family and friends. My dear friend Candace has always had the the best outlook during times like this, envisioning all of her loved ones reuniting in the afterlife. So, in that spirit, I’d like to think that all four of my grandparents are catching up over a cup of tea, reminiscing about the old days back in Jaffna.
As is often the case in these situations, I am left with a new perspective, and I am once again reminded of what is really important in life. It is with a renewed sense of optimism and inspiration that I approach this new year. In putting all of these thoughts into words, I am able to close one door and open the next. As always, thank you for being a part of my journey. I have a feeling that 2013 has a lot of amazing things in store, and I look forward to the next adventure.